Drama, surprise abound as playoffs heat up

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

(For the complete Falmouth-Cape Elizabeth boys’ lacrosse and Falmouth-Cape Elizabeth and Freeport-Waynflete girls’ lacrosse game stories, with photos and box scores, see theforecaster.net)

The tennis playoffs are coming to a close, just as the baseball, softball and boys’ and girls’ lacrosse postseasons begin.

Local teams are in the thick of the hunt in each of those sports and between now and June 20, thrills will be plentiful.

Here’s a glimpse:


If the month is June, then Falmouth’s tennis teams must be closing in on more hardware.

The Yachtsmen girls, seeded second in Western A, improved to 14-0 and extended their match win streak to 123 after beating No. 10 Deering (5-0) in the quarterfinals and third-ranked Portland (5-0) in the semifinals. Falmouth, the defending Class A champion, will battle No. 4 Scarborough (13-1) in the Western A Final Thursday at Bates College in Lewiston. If victorious, the Yachtsmen will face either Lewiston (14-0) or Brunswick (13-1) in the state final Saturday at Lewiston High School.

Falmouth’s boys, also defending a Class A championship, earned the third seed for the playoffs and also advanced with a pair of 5-0 wins, eliminating No. 6 Scarborough in the quarterfinals and seventh-ranked Windham in the semifinals. The Yachtsmen (13-1) meet No. 1 Thornton Academy (14-0) in the regional final Thursday. If Falmouth reaches the state match Saturday, it will square off against either Brunswick (13-1) or Mt. Ararat (13-1).

Greely’s girls, the defending Class B champion, were also still alive at press time. The Rangers, ranked second, blanked No. 10 Lake Region (5-0) in the quarterfinals, then fended off the upset bid of No. 6 Yarmouth (3-2) in the semifinals. Greely (12-2) meets top-ranked Lincoln Academy (14-0) in the regional final Thursday. If the Rangers make it back to states, they’ll face either Mt. Desert Island (13-1) or Caribou (12-2) Saturday.

Yarmouth upset No. 3 Cape Elizabeth (3-2) in the quarterfinals before falling just short against Greely to finish 6-8.

North Yarmouth Academy’s girls hope to end Waynflete’s four-year reign as Class C champion when the rivals square off in the regional final Thursday. The Panthers, ranked fourth, advanced by virtue of 5-0 wins over No. 5 Carrabec in the quarterfinals and top-seeded Hall-Dale in the semifinals. NYA beat the Flyers twice by 5-0 scores this spring. The teams have met 12 times in the past 17 postseasons with the Panthers holding a 7-5 advantage. Last year, Waynflete prevailed, 4-1, in the quarterfinals. If NYA gets to its first state match since 2010, it will face either Mattanawcook (14-0) or Van Buren (10-0) Saturday.

Greely and Yarmouth’s boys were both ousted quickly.

The Rangers, the No. 7 seed, lost, 5-0, to second-ranked Cape Elizabeth, the defending Class B state champion, in the quarterfinals to wind up 4-9.

The Clippers, ranked sixth, lost, 4-1, to No. 3 Fryeburg Academy in the quarterfinals and finished 8-5.


Freeport’s baseball team entered the playoffs on a four-game win streak after closing the regular season last week with a 3-0 home victory over Gray-New Gloucester. Pete Lamagna threw a one-hitter. The Falcons finished 8-8, earned the No. 7 seed in Western Class B and hosted No. 10 Gray-New Gloucester in Tuesday’s preliminary round. Freeport also won at Gray, 4-2, May 13. The teams had no playoff history. If the Falcons advanced, they’d meet No. 2 York (12-4) in Thursday’s quarterfinals. The Wildcats won, 6-0, at York May 6. The teams have never met in the postseason. Freeport entered the playoffs seeking its first ever Class B postseason victory.

Defending Class B champion Greely wound up 11-5 and third after a 3-0 home loss to Cape Elizabeth Wednesday. The Rangers will host No. 6 Yarmouth (8-8) in Thursday’s quarterfinals (see theforecaster.net for game story). The Clippers closed on a four-game skid, capped by a 6-0 setback at Kennebunk. Greely won the lone regular season meeting this spring, 11-2, at Yarmouth, May 6. The Rangers have taken three of the past five playoff encounters, including a 4-0 victory in last year’s quarterfinals.

In Western A, Falmouth took the No. 4 spot after winding up 10-6. The Yachtsmen closed with a 5-3 home victory over Poland last week. Cam Guarino earned his seventh victory and Robbie Armitage and Connor Aube had multiple hits. Falmouth will host either No. 5 Thornton Academy (11-5) or No. 12 Gorham (8-8) in Thursday’s quarterfinals. The Yachtsmen didn’t face either team this season and have no playoff history versus either school.

North Yarmouth Academy failed to qualify for the Western D playoffs, finishing 4-12 and 15th in a region where only 12 teams made the cut. The Panthers closed with a 12-1 five inning loss at Sacopee Valley last Wednesday. Haven Cutko had two hits in defeat.

The playoffs continue Saturday with the semifinals, on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The Western B Final is Tuesday at 3 p.m. at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. The Western A Final is Wednesday at 3 p.m., at St. Joe’s. The Class A state game is Saturday, June 20 in Augusta. The Class B state final is the same day at St. Joe’s.


Greely’s softball team started the season 2-2, but won 11 of its last 12 games to go 13-3 and earn the number one seed in Western Class B. The Rangers closed the regular season with a 9-5 home win over Cape Elizabeth last Wednesday behind an eight-run rally in the bottom of the sixth. Miranda Moore had three hits and also earned the win.

“We are excited to be in the playoffs,” said Greely’s first-year coach Rob Hale. “The goal was to make the playoffs, so the number one seed is a bonus. I think there are six teams that are equal. We are certainly capable of making a run, but there are no easy games. This is the group of athletes I want for this run. I wouldn’t take any other players from the conference to add to this team. I love these girls.”

Greely will host either No. 8 Poland (11-5) or No. 9 Cape Elizabeth (8-8) in Thursday’s quarterfinals. The Rangers also won, 13-0, at Cape Elizabeth May 13. They lost their lone meeting with the Knights, 8-3, May 1 at home. Cape Elizabeth beat Greely in two of three prior playoff meetings, but the Rangers won the most recent, 6-0, in the 2012 quarterfinals. Greely beat Poland, 3-1, in the 2004 quarterfinals in the schools’ only other postseason encounter.

Yarmouth earned the No. 4 seed in Western B after capping a 13-3 campaign with a 10-5 win at Kennebunk. Kallie Hutchinson had three hits and drove in a pair of runs. The Clippers will battle No. 5 Leavitt (13-3) in Thursday’s quarterfinals. The teams have no history.

Freeport wound up 2-14 and 15th in Western B after an 8-0 home loss to Gray-New Gloucester in the finale. Only 10 teams made the playoffs.

In Western A, Falmouth finished 9-7 after a 4-2 home win over Gray-New Gloucester. Julia Treadwell allowed just one earned run and struck out 13. Elizabeth Walker doubled and homered. The Yachtsmen earned the No. 7 seed and hosted No. 10 Marshwood (6-10) in Tuesday’s preliminary round. The teams don’t play in the regular season. The Hawks eliminated Falmouth in last year’s preliminary round, 8-3. If the Yachtsmen advanced, they’d visit No. 2 Thornton Academy (14-2), the defending regional champion, in Thursday’s quarterfinals. The teams have no history.

The playoffs continue Saturday with the semifinals on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The Western B Final is Tuesday at 7 p.m. at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. The Western A Final is Wednesday at 7 p.m., at St. Joe’s. The Class A state game is Saturday, June 20 in Augusta. The Class B state final is the same day at St. Joe’s.

Boys’ lacrosse

All five local boys’ lacrosse teams qualified for the playoffs with one going into the postseason on a huge roll.

Falmouth went to rival and recent nemesis Cape Elizabeth last Tuesday night having dropped seven straight games, including each of the past two Western B Finals, to the Capers. Cape Elizabeth won the first regular season matchup, 19-11, May 12 at the Yachtsmen and on its Senior Night, shot to a 4-0 lead, but this time, Falmouth had the last laugh. The Yachtsmen were down, 7-3, early in the second half, but crept back, took a 9-8 lead on George Gilbert’s goal in the fourth quarter and after the Capers drew even, went on top to stay when standout Bryce Kuhn scored his sixth goal. C.J. Leighton added another, Jack Mainella won 15 of 24 faceoffs, Liam Tucker made 12 saves and Falmouth shocked Cape Elizabeth, 11-9.

“It started with faceoffs,” Gilbert said. “(Jack) kept it in his stick and got it to our wingers and that led to offense.

“When two teams of this caliber face off, it just comes down to who wants it more and we wanted it more,” Kuhn said. “Winning here, on their Senior Night, it’s just makes me so happy. I’m on top of the world.”

“It’s a great win for our team, a real confidence-booster,” said Tucker.

“(Cape’s) got as close to a perfect team as I’ve seen since maybe our 2011 and 2012 teams,” added Yachtsmen coach Mike LeBel. “It’s been so long since we’ve beaten them. We’ve had good players. We’ve had IV Stucker, we’ve had Charlie Fay, but we couldn’t figure out how to beat Cape. We have only two players, C.J. and Bryce, who know what it’s like to beat them.”

Falmouth finished 9-3 and second behind Cape Elizabeth in Western B. The Yachtsmen will host either No. 3 Waynflete (9-3) or No. 6 Fryeburg Academy (6-6) in Saturday’s semifinals. Falmouth didn’t face the Flyers this spring. Waynflete won two of three prior playoff meetings, but the Yachtsmen took the most recent, 17-1, in the 2011 semifinals. Falmouth romped, 15-2, at Fryeburg back on May 5. The Yachtsmen and Raiders have never squared off in the postseason. If Falmouth wins its semifinals, it will almost certainly have to win at Cape Elizabeth again in what could be an epic regional final.

“We’ll try to get better and better and better and prepare ourselves,” LeBel said. “This will only fire (Cape) up and make them even more determined next time. We’re not looking to Cape. We won’t look past our first opponent.”

Greely enjoyed a 13-8 win at Kennebunk in its finale last week to wind up 8-4 and fourth in Western B. The Rangers met the Rams again in the quarterfinals Wednesday in Cumberland. Greely also beat Kennebunk at home this spring, 13-9, May 12. The teams have no playoff history in the Maine Principals’ Association-sanctioned era (since 1998). The Rangers did beat the Rams, 8-4, in the Division II semifinals en route to a championship in 1996. If Greely advanced, it would go to Cape Elizabeth Saturday for the semifinals. The Rangers lost at the Capers, 13-1, back on May 19. Cape Elizabeth has won all eight previous playoff meetings, dating to 1998, including a 19-1 win in last year’s semifinals.

In Eastern B, Yarmouth finished 9-3 after closing with an 8-3 win at North Yarmouth Academy. Bill Jacobs scored three times. The Clippers earned the No. 2 seed behind Maranacook/Winthrop and hosted seventh-ranked Winslow (9-3) in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. The teams had no history. If, as expected, Yarmouth advanced, it would host either third-ranked Gardiner (9-3) or No. 6 Freeport (6-6) in the semifinals Friday or Saturday. The Clippers didn’t play either team this season. Yarmouth has beaten the Tigers in three of four prior playoff encounters, including a 16-4 victory in last year’s quarterfinals. The Clippers are 4-0 all-time in the playoffs against the Falcons, including a 16-3 win at Freeport in last year’s Eastern B Final.

The Falcons closed their regular season with an 11-9 “home” loss to Waynflete, in a game played on Bowdoin College’s turf last Tuesday. Sam Wogan had five goals in the defeat. Freeport and Gardiner didn’t play this season. The teams split two prior playoff meetings, with the Falcons prevailing, 17-6, in the 2006 quarterfinals and the Tigers winning, 9-3, in the 2013 quarterfinals.

NYA finished 4-8 after an 8-3 home loss to Yarmouth, but still earned the No. 4 seed in Eastern B. The Panthers welcomed No. 5 Oak Hill (5-7) for the quarterfinals Wednesday. The teams didn’t play this year. NYA won both prior playoff meetings: 17-3 in the 2006 semifinals and 17-4 in the 2007 semis en route to its most recent state title. If the Panthers advanced to Saturday’s semifinals, they would either go to No. 1 Maranacook/Winthrop (10-2) or host eighth-ranked Morse (6-6). NYA split two prior meetings with the Black Bears (winning by a 16-5 margin in the 2012 quarterfinals and losing last year’s quarterfinal, 9-2) and swept two previous encounters with the Shipbuilders (winning 15-1 in the 2008 quarterfinals and 12-1 in the 2011 quarters).

The regional finals will be contested Wednesday of next week on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The Class A and B state finals are both Saturday, June 20 on the brand new turf at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Girls’ lacrosse 

Falmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team capped the best regular season in program history by avenging its only loss last Wednesday with a 9-6 win at Cape Elizabeth. Standout Sydney Bell, on her 16th birthday, led the way with five goals.

“We’re super-pumped,” said Bell. “We’d been working really hard knowing this was our one loss (7-6 at home May 6). We knew it was such a close game last time and we knew we couldn’t have that kind of game again. We knew we had to put everything we’d worked on in practice into a game and when we took a lead, pull away.”

“It’s not a surprise when Sydney has a big game ever,” said senior Elle Fitzgerald, who added a goal and an assist. “She’s incredible, phenomenal, but she’s not selfish with the ball. She looks to set up everyone. That’s Falmouth lacrosse.”

“We knew what we had to do here and we wanted to do it,” Yachtsmen coach Kait Johnson added. “We knew we could beat them. We knew we were a better team than we showed that first game against them. We were happy to have another chance.”

Falmouth’s 11-1 mark set a program benchmark and the Yachtsmen wound up with the No. 1 seed in Western B for the first time. Falmouth earned a bye into Saturday’s semifinals and will host either No. 4 Waynflete (8-4) or fifth-ranked Cape Elizabeth (7-5). The Yachtsmen won at the Flyers, 13-6, earlier this spring, but have dropped all three previous playoff meetings with the state’s flagship program, including a gutwrenching 10-9 semifinal round setback in 2012, the most recent encounter. Falmouth has lost four of five previous playoff games against the Capers, including 13-6 in last year’s quarterfinals.

“We’re gunning for it,” Johnson said. “We’re excited. We have injuries, so we’re looking to rest up. I think we have all the tools and I think we can make a run for states. That’s our goal. I’m proud and excited. We’re definitely ready.”

Greely finished 4-8 and garnered the seventh and final playoff spot in Western B. Last week, the Rangers downed visiting Lake Region, 12-9, then lost at Kennebunk, 15-10. In the victory, Meghan O’Donovan and Kelsey Otley both had three goals. Ellie Schad scored three times in the loss. Greely went back to No. 2 Kennebunk (11-1) for the quarterfinals Wednesday. The Rangers lost to the Rams in the 1999 quarterfinals (10-9) and won at Kennebunk in the 2003 semifinals (8-7). If Greely sprung the upset, it would either visit No. 3 York (9-3) or No. 6 Lake Region (9-3) in the semifinals Saturday. The Rangers have no playoff history with the Lakers. Greely beat York in the 2012 quarterfinals (12-10) and was eliminated by the Wildcats in last year’s quarterfinal (7-6).  The teams didn’t meet this season.

In Eastern B, defending state champion Yarmouth finished decisive wins at Brunswick (16-1) and NYA (15-3) to wind up 8-4 and second to Morse in the Heals. Shannon Fallon had five goals and Emma Torres added four against the Panthers. The Clippers hosted No. 7 Camden Hills (5-7) in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. The lone prior playoff meeting resulted in a 15-1 Yarmouth win in the 2006 semifinals. If the Clippers advanced, as expected, they would welcome either No. 3 Oceanside (10-2) or No. 6 Gardiner (6-6) in the semifinals Friday or Saturday. The Clippers didn’t face either squad this spring and have no history with Oceanside. Yarmouth beat Gardiner in the 2010 semifinals (22-4).

Freeport closed with a 14-6 home loss to Waynflete last Thursday to wind up 6-6 and fourth. The Falcons got two goals from Taylor Rinaldi, but it wasn’t enough.

“It’s frustrating, because I know if we put an entire game together, it would be a different story,” Freeport’s first-year coach Marcia Wood said. “There was a spurt in the first half where we played great and a spurt in the second half where we played great, but we couldn’t play that way the whole game. We could talk the talk and say we knew what we needed to do, but we didn’t walk the walk.”

Freeport hosted No. 5 Winslow (7-5) in the quarterfinals Wednesday. The teams had no history.

“It’s a brand new season,” Wood said. “We’ll focus on what we need to do. I think we could make a run.”

If the Falcons advanced, they’d go to No. 1 Morse (8-4) in the semifinals. Freeport beat the Shipbuilders, 13-6, in last year’s semifinals and downed the 15-9, May 19 in Freeport.

NYA finished 1-11 after its 15-3 home loss to Yarmouth. The Panthers wound up ninth in the Heals, but only seven teams qualified.

The regional finals will be contested Wednesday of next week on the fields of the higher remaining seeds. The Class A and B state finals are both Saturday, June 20 on the brand new turf at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Sidebar Elements

Falmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team celebrates its improbable 11-9 come-from-behind win at two-time defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth last week.

Freeport’s Lizzy Martin shoots during last week’s 14-6 home loss to Waynflete.

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.